Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TNG Ep. 37: The Contagion

The Yamato experiences systems failures while investigating the fabled, extinct Iconian civilization within the neutral zone. The Enterprise changes course to assist, but the Yamato experiences warp core breach and is destroyed in the meantime. Upon their arrival, the Enterprise also experiences systems troubles, caused by a virus transmitted by an automatic probe from Iconia. Picard, Data, and Worf beam down to the planet to investigate, and find a portal that rotates its destination. Data attempts to access the Iconian computer systems but also becomes infected with the virus. Back on the ship, Data eventually shut down and reboots automatically, restoring his systems to a save point from before the virus was introduced. At the same time, a Romulan Warbird decloaks near the Enterprise and seems to be experiencing the same problems. Geordi, using Data as inspiration, clears the Enterprise of the virus, and the Romulans are also able to reboot their computers.

I like how the virus problem in this episode is relatable to computer problems I've personally experienced, yet I'm not quite sure how realistic it is that Geordi wouldn't already have the solution at his fingertips. Maybe, since spaceships aren't directly and permanently connected to any larger network, computer viruses aren't usually a problem. Yet, viruses aren't the only thing that can force you to reload an operating system. The more I think about it, the more I'd better ask my dad if I'm using the right tech lingo here, or if I even know what I'm talking about...

... and I don't. His words were something along the lines of "that's not how it works but you can still use that as an example." Shoot. Star Trek, you win this one! I can't critique something I don't understand.

I guess that leaves me with the obligatory "Data is Awesome!" commentary. I like that he has an automatic reboot, because if he didn't, that'd be ridiculously stupid of Soong. And I'm glad that Geordi can take a hint.


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